What is Chiropractic
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Chiropractic is a hands-on, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical method of treatment and assessment of a variety of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. It is a primary contact profession that utilises a variety of treatment methods including manual treatment, rehabilitation exercises and nutritional and lifestyle advice.
Chiropractic treatment can help:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Strains and sprains
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
- Work and sports injuries
- Arthritis Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs
- General health and well-being
1. Is chiropractic care safe?
In the words of the New Zealand Government’s Inquiry, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe” and it has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.
In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs.
2. What is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the skill of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, “locked up”, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the joints to gradually regain normal motion and function. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to permit improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health.
There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the chiropractor's hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow, constant or indirect pressure.
After years of university training and clinical experience, each chiropractor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.
3. Is it appropriate for children to see a chiropractor?
Since significant trauma can occur at birth, many parents choose to have their newborns checked for any spinal health related problems. Later, learning to walk, riding a bicycle and other childhood activities can cause spinal health related problems.
While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the potential underlying structural damage to the child’s spine, skull, pelvis and extremities is the unique domain of a chiropractor.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as “growing pains” may be able to be traced to the spine. Regular check-ups may be able to identify these problems and help avoid some of the health complaints seen later in adults. Naturally, Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child’s spine, particularly babies.
4. Am I too old to see a chiropractor?
More and more people are consulting chiropractors in Adelaide and elsewhere in Australia, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite. Many patients report improvements with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting technique used by your doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.
5. For how long will I need care?
Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.
Most patients find that periodic check-ups our Adelaide chiropractor help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventative visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.
Some patients seek care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time consuming, chiropractors stand ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals. How long you decide to benefit from this method of care is always up to you.
6. Do chiropractic adjustments hurt?
In most cases, not at all. In fact, most people find having an adjustment very relaxing. Although the actual adjustment is usually pain free, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours. This can be easily managed with ice and rest.
Chiropractors at our Adelaide clinic use a combination of manual technique, instrument adjusting, computerised adjusting and pelvic blocks. Special techniques are used for infants and children. Treatment options can always be discussed and a treatment protocol designed to suit your specific needs and desires. We are here to help you achieve your health goals and will endeavour to tailor your care accordingly.
7. What results can I expect?
If you’re new to Chiropractic care, you’ll want to know what type of result you can expect. Individual experience varies from person to person, but most people can expect some benefits soon after beginning care and for these to consolidate further as therapy continues. Statistically too, research shows that visiting a chiropractor is more effective and economical and also gives longer lasting results for disorders of the spine than other forms of health care.3 4 5
8. How is it different to physiotherapy?
In understanding the difference between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy, we recommend referring to the definition of each practice. Chiropractic is a health care discipline based on the scientific premise that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. A chiropractor focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine, and pelvis) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. Physiotherapy, as described by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, “uses a variety of techniques to help your muscles and joints work to their full potential. It can help repair damage by speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and stiffness.
Each individual is different and must make their own choice about the most appropriate method of care for them. We believe Chiropractic, with its central focus on the spine, nervous system and their impact on entire body provides a health care option that can help manage pain as well as assist in achieving optimal well-being.
9. Approximately how much does a session cost?
New consultations are $80 while subsequent consults are $50 Concession care and family rates are available. Should there be financial constraints, please contact us and we will endeavour to make an arrangement that allows you to benefit from seeing a chiropractor at our Adelaide clinic.
10. What should you bring with you and wear?
If you have any previous radiographs or scans, it is ideal that you bring those with you on your initial consult. Usually, you are not required to wear any specific clothing or get changed for your examination or treatment. Bulky clothing like jackets and thick jumpers are usually removed if appropriate.
11. Do you need a referral from a GP?
Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners meaning a referral is not necessary. However, more and more GP's are referring to Chiropractors via the Enhanced Primary Care Program (EPC).
12. Will radiographs (x-rays) be required?
Radiographs are not compulsory, but may be required. This is decided on a case-by-case basis and will be determined once a detailed history and examination has been undertaken. If radiographs are required, referral is done on the spot by your Chiropractor to a number of imaging centres, and will usually be bulk billed.
13. Will I be treated on the initial consultation?
Usually, yes. In rare cases if further examination or tests are required before safe treatment can be undertaken, treatment will be postponed until these are completed.
14. Is treatment on a contract basis?
No. You are able to stop and start treatment at any time, with payment at the end of each treatment.
1 Chiropractic in New Zealand: Report of the Commission of Inquiry. (1979). Hasselberg PD, Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand
2 Dabbs,V., & Lauretti,W.J. (1995). A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation vs NSAIDs for the Treatment of Neck Pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 18(8), 530-536
3 Meade TW, Dyer S, Browne W, Townsend J, Frank AO. (1990) Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomised Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment. The British Medical Journal 300: 1431-7
4 Manga P, Angus D et al (1993) The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain. Pran Manga and Associates, University of Ottawa, Canada.
5 Shekelle PG, Adams AH, Chassin MR et al. (1991) AHThe Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain: Indications and Ratings by a Multidisciplinary Panel. Santa Monida, Calif: RAND Copr, 1991
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